13 posts tagged "Alejandro Ingelmo"
Step into designer Alejandro Ingelmo’s not-yet-opened subterranean Soho shop and his touches are everywhere. They surface in the long leather couch that divides the narrow but light-filled space into men’s and women’s sides (Ingelmo designed it himself). They’re in the faux shoe boxes—slide one out and they’re pint-sized—that line the walls (also of his creation). They’re in the oversized photos in the rear of Ingelmo’s family’s massive shoe shop in a long-distant pre-Castro Cuba. “I’m proud of my heritage,” Ingelmo says. “I wanted to make it like an old cobbler’s shop.”
The shoes on view yesterday at Ingelmo’s Spring ’11 presentation, however, were the epitome of modern. Ingelmo’s signature stilettos are served up in a comfortable (really!) stretch nappa leather. “I don’t want [my customer] to only be able to wear it for an hour,” he says. “For me, it’s how you get the most longevity out of a shoe.” Sumptuous animal skins and basket-woven pumps feature in the collection, too, along with a new, especially slim heel he calls the Grace. They’re all in muted tones inspired by Brutalist architecture of the fifties and sixties.
The shop opens officially later this month, and some passersby may find it hard to spot; it’ll be identified only by a plaque that reads “Shop.” But cognoscenti should have no problem picking it out—not least by the sight of Ingelmo himself, who says he’s taken to sweeping the front stairs ever since he first moved in.
Women love shoes. It’s a love affair that’s been chronicled in detail over the course of six television seasons and one feature film edition of Sex and the City, so there’s really no need to belabor the point. A more interesting matter is wondering what new designer, if any, might find his
footwear fetishized by a connoisseur on par with Carrie Bradshaw. The smart money is on Alejandro Ingelmo. The New York-based designer has footwear in the blood. His grandfather owned a shoe business in Cuba, and his great-grandfather cobbled in Spain. And since launching his brand in 2006, Ingelmo has taken that pedigree and run with it. While it’s Ingelmo’sinstantly covetable and often fantastical stilettos that made his name, the designer is now showing a more practical side. He’s branched out into super-luxe flats and decadent sneakers—the lattermost, however, are
currently just for men. This year, he was tapped as a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award. The winner of the 2008 prize will be announced November 17; in the meantime, Ingelmo answers Style.com’s questions about life in the Top Ten.
What made you want to be a designer?
I don’t really consider myself a designer. I think I’m just someone observing the world, and turning those observations into something functional. For me it’s about creating, inventing, and interpreting your surroundings—not that different from translating a book into another language.